Single perpetrators? Right-wing terrorist actors in the old Federal Republic

Beginn des Projektes: June 2021

Asociated PhD project
Supported by the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung
Part of the project "The Radical Right in Germany, 1945-2000"

Using an actor-oriented approach, the research project aims to develop a differentiated picture of the relationship of the right-wing extremist milieu and its actors to terrorist violence based on concrete acts of violence in the old Federal Republic. The work is located in the field of political social history as well as contemporary right-wing extremism research. The central starting point is the question of the extent to which the actors were “lone perpetrators” and / or groups of “half-crazy nuts”, as they were often referred to in politics, authorities and the public.

According to the thesis, these attributions often blocked the view of right-wing extremist backgrounds, neglected structural (group) networks and disregarded social moods.

Following on from this, it will be examined when different actors considered the exercise of violence, to what extent, with what means and to what end. In addition, it should be shown which legitimation strategies the exercise of violence was based on. On the one hand, the focus is on the radicalization dynamics of the perpetrators and their national and international networks. On the other hand, the investigation of communication strategies as well as enemy images are further analysis categories in the center of interest. Finally, possible misjudgments by politics, authorities and the judiciary with regard to right-wing terrorism, in particular with regard to attributions such as the “single perpetrator thesis”, are to be worked out. Both self-testimonies from the (violent) right-wing extremist milieu as well as third-party products (for example court files) serve as sources in order to demonstrate by means of a historical-genetic analysis that (violent / terrorist) right-wing extremism is not a new phenomenon of the post-reunification period, but As Gideon Botsch from the Moses Mendelssohn Center in Potsdam notes, “an accompanying factor that runs through the history of the Federal Republic”.

To project website: https://projekt.radikale-rechte.de/

Darius Muschiol

Leibniz Center for Contemporary History Potsdam
Am Neuen Markt 1
14467 Potsdam

E-Mail: darius.muschiol [at] zzf-potsdam.de

Forschung

Single perpetrators? Right-wing terrorist actors in the old Federal Republic

Beginn des Projektes: June 2021

Asociated PhD project
Supported by the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung
Part of the project "The Radical Right in Germany, 1945-2000"

Using an actor-oriented approach, the research project aims to develop a differentiated picture of the relationship of the right-wing extremist milieu and its actors to terrorist violence based on concrete acts of violence in the old Federal Republic. The work is located in the field of political social history as well as contemporary right-wing extremism research. The central starting point is the question of the extent to which the actors were “lone perpetrators” and / or groups of “half-crazy nuts”, as they were often referred to in politics, authorities and the public.

According to the thesis, these attributions often blocked the view of right-wing extremist backgrounds, neglected structural (group) networks and disregarded social moods.

Following on from this, it will be examined when different actors considered the exercise of violence, to what extent, with what means and to what end. In addition, it should be shown which legitimation strategies the exercise of violence was based on. On the one hand, the focus is on the radicalization dynamics of the perpetrators and their national and international networks. On the other hand, the investigation of communication strategies as well as enemy images are further analysis categories in the center of interest. Finally, possible misjudgments by politics, authorities and the judiciary with regard to right-wing terrorism, in particular with regard to attributions such as the “single perpetrator thesis”, are to be worked out. Both self-testimonies from the (violent) right-wing extremist milieu as well as third-party products (for example court files) serve as sources in order to demonstrate by means of a historical-genetic analysis that (violent / terrorist) right-wing extremism is not a new phenomenon of the post-reunification period, but As Gideon Botsch from the Moses Mendelssohn Center in Potsdam notes, “an accompanying factor that runs through the history of the Federal Republic”.

To project website: https://projekt.radikale-rechte.de/

Darius Muschiol

Leibniz Center for Contemporary History Potsdam
Am Neuen Markt 1
14467 Potsdam

E-Mail: darius.muschiol [at] zzf-potsdam.de

Forschung